Give us power, give us light To holdall love within our breast’s small space.

What did Philip José Farmer mean by:

Give us power, give us light To holdall love within our breast’s small space.


This quote is a poignant reflection on the human capacity for love and empathy. “Give us power, give us light” is a plea for strength and illumination, both metaphorically and literally. Power here represents the ability to endure, to withstand life’s trials and tribulations, and to continue to love even when it is difficult. Light, on the other hand, symbolizes knowledge, understanding, and enlightenment. It is the clarity that allows us to see the worth in others and to value them for who they are.

The second part of the quote, “To holdall love within our breast’s small space,” speaks to the immense capacity of the human heart. Despite its physical smallness, the heart is metaphorically capable of holding an infinite amount of love. The phrase suggests that despite our own limitations and imperfections, we have the potential to love boundlessly and unconditionally.

Applying this idea in today’s world, we can interpret it as a call to embrace love and empathy in our daily lives. In a society often divided by differences and conflicts, the quote reminds us of our inherent ability to love and understand others. It encourages us to use our “power” and “light” to foster connections, bridge divides, and create a more compassionate world.

In terms of personal development, this quote can serve as a reminder of our own capacity for growth and change. It suggests that no matter how difficult or dark our circumstances may be, we have within us the power to endure and the light to find our way. It also underscores the importance of love and empathy in our personal growth. By opening our hearts to others, we not only enrich our own lives but also contribute to the betterment of those around us.

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